Thursday August 24, 2017
Fun is paramount as Superslide dream comes true
Menzshed’s new home a handyman’s dream By Callum Roberts MASSEY JOURNALISM STUDENT
Drew Curran-Tietjens was given the honour of being the first to try out Kahurangi School’s new Superslide on Friday after winning a school raffle. PHOTO: Jamie Adams
Pupils and teachers at Kahurangi School celebrated the official opening of their new Superslide last Friday, a project given a helping hand by Hollywood. Principal Kyran Smith said the idea came about soon after the establishment of the school at its present site in 2013 following the merger of two schools in the Miramar-Strathmore area. “Years ago when we opened we contemplated on getting our natural environment ready for our children and the board knew we had work to get our external area sorted,” Kyran said. “We got in touch with Mark Newdick Landscape Architects who came up with an outdoor environment plan that would create all sorts of fun for our children.” Kahurangi School is located at the base of hills that bound the southern area of Strathmore Park, with a particularly steep bank on its grounds beneath Elphinstone Avenue. “We wanted them to be innovative and use the entire surroundings and realised a slide could be in an area that utilised the hill.
The slide was partly funded by the community through Kahurangi Friends, a group of volunteers who have held fundraising events over the years such as the Kotahi Festival on Waitangi Day and outdoor movie nights. But the main contributors were Hollywood studios Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures, whose representatives wanted to give something back to the community as gratitude for the support given to them during the time they spent in Wellington shooting the Scarlett Johannson action film Ghost In The Shell. “They approached us,” Kyran said. “We are really delighted they made this donation on behalf of the community.” She said the “significant” donation enabled them to complete their intial outdoor plans. “Now that this is completed we are planning further playground projects.” While it is a school facility, Kyran encouraged the wider public to use the playground, including the Superslide, after school hours. “We hope they get as much enjoyment out of it as our children do.”
City Menzshed has renovated a dilapidated isolation ward as their new Wellington headquarters. After five months without a home, the men’s community group was offered a space behind the Capital City District Health Board (CCDHB) offices in Newtown. At the ribbon cutting ceremony last week, City Menzshed secretary John Shrapnell said the invitation to move in came as a surprise, “I nearly fell of my chair.” Menzshed had previously made outdoor chairs and tables for the hospital and restored a popular children’s play piece. After finishing the projects Shrapnell thought he would ask the hospital if they had somewhere to house the group. “They said we’d love to have you. I really didn’t expect it.” The Coromandel Street building was once an isolation ward. It had lain vacant and had been neglected for years before the men’s group got to work restoring it last month. “You couldn’t see it because it was literally covered with ivy. We had ivy and graffiti inside too, it was a dreadful sight,” John said. With help from the hospital, friends and family the old isolation ward was transformed. John was grateful to have a new headquarters.
He said he looked forward to members, called Sheddies, returning to work on projects and spend time with one another. “We’ve got three new jobs on the board already,” he said. The District Health board’s clinical support services assistant manager, Kenny McCaul, helped Menzshed with the transition. He was pleased with CCDHB’s new neighbours and the restoration of the ward. “They’ve given the building a second life.” Kenny said having Menzshed occupy a previously vacant building would also help ward off vandals in the area. City Menzshed plan to fundraise for a dust extraction unit for their new home so they can continue working on community projects safely.
City Menzshed secretary John Shrapnell gets to work at the groups new headquarters in Newtown. PHOTO: Callum Roberts
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Cook Strait News 24-08-17